Pieces of Heart

How well are you treating yourself and others lately?

Truth

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”Gautama Buddha

This morning I was looking through my Facebook memory feed and I saw the entry above. It struck a chord; so I posted it again and within minutes, some of my friends started sharing it. Isn’t it the truth? Why is it so hard for the majority of humans to focus on our positive attributes rather than our negative ones?

I know the quote up there says that it’s not up to others to keep you encouraged and it’s true; but oh, does it help when we infuse this good advice with a healthy dose of kindness to one another? It doesn’t take a supreme effort to make another person feel good. In fact, whenever I am able to bring a smile to someone else’s heart, it makes my own heart smile.

command

This morning I made a quick stop on the way to work in order to pick up lunch. I stopped at my favorite grocery store and picked out something Keto-approved (because I am on a never ending quest to get healthier. That counts as self-love, right?). Standing in the checkout line I overheard the cashier call the customer in front of me by name. My first thought was that she must be a regular shopper. Still, it made me smile inwardly because the cashier was so kind to her.

When it was my turn, she asked me how I was, we exchanged pleasantries and she rang up my items. When she handed me the receipt, in the sweetest tone, she said to me, “Thank you, Bobbe…I really like your name!” I thanked her, wished her a great day, and I left the store smiling. I am sure the store management probably encouraged her to do this, but it didn’t matter to me a bit. It was kind. Her delivery was genuine and it made me feel good. As I pulled out into traffic, still smiling, I couldn’t help but think about how important it is to be kind to one another. She had just altered the course of my day in a wonderfully simple, yet highly positive way.

Last night we performed our regular once-per-week catering job. It’s the Fellowship Meal for the church where I work (doing finances), and I am Facebook friends with most of the people who attend. If you subscribe to this blog you already know that I adore cooking. Few things make me happier than mastering a new dish or preparing pretty food. I regularly share my food porn and my recipes on Facebook, because it’s what I enjoy. (Who doesn’t love food?)

Admittedly, there was a time when I wouldn’t share this blog anywhere because I feared what people may think. My food blogs could be construed as bragging; my inspirational writing could be construed as me believing I am above others; my angel musings could be construed as me being delusional or crazy. I was worried that people I work with might think I am (gasp) “new age”, even though I am actually the furthest thing from it. I was worried about offending people who don’t like what I like… You get where I am going with this.

deep

When I turned 54 a month ago today, I made the decision to live in authenticity. To me, this means the inside matches the outside; it means sharing exactly who I am without concern over what other people think or whether they believe the same as I do. It means that what others think of me is none of my business. Am I living my life in accordance to what I believe God wants? Am I feeling good in my own heart? To me, nothing else should be of higher importance.  Besides, if we were all exactly the same, where would joy live?  Ponder this a while. I’ll wait.

Last night just as we were about to serve dinner, one of the church congregants -(a lady I love to “silly-banter” with)- came across the room to tell me she wanted to tell me something. I was expecting our normal silliness, but instead she was so sincere. She proceeded to say the nicest things to me with regard to the variety of things I do well in my life; the cooking, the writing, the accounting, etc. I don’t want to repeat the entire exchange here, but it was one of the loveliest and most unexpected compliments I have ever received. Apparently, she’s been reading my blogs and so she is knowing me better. <grin> What she didn’t know, (or maybe she did), was just how timely she was, as I’ve been feeling rather low since Easter.

Driving home last night, I was telling Charlie what she said when tears formed in his eyes. He took my hand in his and said, “It’s all true, Bobbe. You don’t get enough credit or give yourself enough credit for who you are.” He doesn’t know it, but every time he gets emotional when I tell him about something like this, it cements the fact that I know I am exactly where I belong.

I don’t know if it’s true that I don’t get enough credit. (I am aware I don’t give myself enough credit because people tell me this all the time!) The reason I share this is to illustrate that kindness matters. Two times in the past twenty four hours, I’ve experienced unexpected kindnesses and my spirit has done a complete about-face. In fact, I feel transformed.

I am a generally positive person. Imagine if I wasn’t? How might these kindnesses have affected me even more?

Thank you God, for those people who unabashedly offer pieces of heart. Please help me to persist in trying to follow this path as well.

May pieces of heart sprinkle all of the paths we travel and may God grant us the insight to know when to sprinkle our own.

Happy Friday!

Love, Bobbe

 

Church Perks

This popped up in my memories today and it’s just the thing I needed to read. I love how the Universe works this way. ❤

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Very often when least expected, God sends a messenger.

People are shocked when they learn that I suffer tremendously with internal issues of self-worth. Because of this I am nearly always questioning myself. “Did I do that well enough?”; “Am I on the right path?”;”Does anything I do even matter?”;”Does anyone even care about me, really?”;”Am I doing enough?”;”What is wrong with me?”. I could go on and on.

I say people are shocked when they learn this, because I present myself as the exact opposite. Most people who know me think I am the most confident person around and they would never dream that inside, very often I am a mess.

When depression attempts to pull me under, I go on the offense; slapping the fake smile on, forcing myself to “go the extra mile”, etc. I have learned through years of practice that when I am successful with my efforts, God always meets me half way with something glorious. This is what carries me through.

The other day I was in my tiny office in the back of the church when I heard an African man talking to the ladies at the front desk. First of all, I love that accent, so my ears perked up when he started talking.

He had been to a ministry several blocks away from our location in order to receive financial assistance with his rent. As he told his story, I could tell he was very upset. He explained that he understood we are not affiliated with them, but as he was driving by the church, he felt compelled to come inside to talk through it.

Apparently, over a month ago he’d been granted financial assistance (by the other ministry) with his rent so he thought everything was fine. However, when he retrieved his mail that morning, he found an eviction notice. Fearful, he jumped in the car and went back to the Ministry, only to be treated as if he’d never been there.

Under ordinary circumstances I am not the one who handles people who walk in the office for help, but on this day, because of the dire situation, I felt compelled to intervene. So I went out, introduced myself, asked for his paperwork, told him to have a seat, and went back to my office to call the person who leads that Ministry. As it happens, in addition to my part-time work at the church, I also do the finances for the Ministry in question.

Coincidence? I don’t believe in such things.

After a few back and forth calls, it was determined that his file had been misplaced and indeed, the payment for his rent had not been made. A few more calls were made, including one to his Landlord, who accepted the explanation and agreed to wait to receive the past-due rent and I was able to walk back out and tell him his situation was remedied. By this time, hours had passed, and this poor man who had been in the office so upset and nervous finally had relief. He thanked everyone in the outer office and then asked to speak with me privately.

Inside my office, he took both of my hands in his and asked me if I would allow him to pray with me. Tears streamed down my face as I listened to this man, a stranger, praise God for having prompted him to stop into my office. He thanked God for me; he asked God to continue to place me in the path of people who need my help; he told God to continue to use me as his instrument; to continue to allow me to minister, not just in the finance office, but in the community. He said that when he entered the office he was scared and afraid and he felt alone and hopeless and that because of my actions, he was leaving renewed and restored and secure in the knowledge that God still listens to prayers and offers aid in remarkable ways. He mentioned the angels and he called me “one of God’s earth angels”. It was beautiful.

In other words,God met me half-way with something glorious that I would never have imagined for myself. Depression lifted. Joy inserted.

It was as if the Lord, Himself, stood right in front of me and said, “Yes, daughter, you ARE worth it. You ARE appreciated. You ARE loved. You ARE doing exactly what I expect of you. I love you. I love you. Carry on.”

And so I will.

winners_never_quit

 

 

 

 

 

Why Must I Write?

I wrote this post for another website but this morning I found it here, so I decided to share it.

What seems like four hundred years ago; before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress or even MySpace existed; before Apple, before Windows, before PC’s, Lap tops and even before word processors; there were yellow pads, composition notebooks and black Bic Pens. These were and still are my favorite tools of expressive writing.

I can remember being a wee tot visiting and being awed by the supply room at my father’s company. All of those shelves just full of colored papers, notebooks, steno pads, yellow pads, packages of pens and pencils, markers and the like! Whenever I was there visiting I was allowed to go into that room and select some paper and pens to work with. I always selected the notebooks and pens and I can still recall being thrilled to sit at a “big person desk” and scratch away as if I were working hard for the company! Looking back, I truly believe those times shaped my love of new pens and notebooks.

In the sixth grade we studied “The Diary of Anne Frank” and it is this book that I credit as being the impetus of my lifelong love affair with writing. I came away from reading that story with the incredible “new-to-me” idea that I could actually sit down and chronicle my thoughts and feelings about life. Anne Frank decided to think of her diary as a friend, so she named it, “Kitty”. Sixth grade Bobbe thought this was a such a cool idea, I named my own diary, “Monet”. (The memory of this makes me burst into laughter. Monet was actually the given name of our standard poodle who we called, “Moe”, because we all thought the name Monet was too pretentious! Somehow I thought, “Monet” would be a good name for my pretend diary friend. (Don’t Worry, it was short-lived.)

As you might imagine, my sixth-grade diary entries consisted of things that I considered to be earth-shattering at the time, “Dear Monet. Today we went to Actors Theater and we watched the play, ‘Anne Frank’. I was so happy because “so-and-so” sat next to me!” ; “Dear Monet, today Sr. Clara yelled at us for no reason at ALL!”, etc.

Aside: I have searched my house high and low, I know that little diary is hidden in some corner because I was just looking at it laughing. I really wanted to photograph it for this blog. I will keep writing and keep searching and hopefully it will show up in time for me to finish this!’ Until then, here are just a few journals that happen to be sitting within arms reach. The little one is from my 7th and 8th grade years. You can’t really see it but there are two more notebooks underneath the open ones. Yes, I have always written on a regular basis.

Anyway, I made it a practice to write in that little book daily. It may not have been great writing, but it shaped me to make a good habit of recording my thoughts and feelings regularly. Looking back through my writings it strikes me just how much I have always written about my relationship with God and all of the gratitude I have for His presence in my life. Very often my little girl entries were entirely about trying to be a better person in order to please Him. Interesting stuff, considering  the fact that other than attending Catholic school and Mass on Sundays, no one in my life was force-feeding me information about God.

As an adult I still find myself drawn to write about my feelings and experiences. Very often, writing is therapy for me, (you may have noticed this if you’ve read any of my prior blog entries), but I have also found through years of blogging on my personal site, that when I share my true life experiences, I am touching others who might be needing a lift or help not feeling alone.

This is really why I write.

I never feel more alive and whole than when I am sharing my heart through my writing. Early in life my little letters to “Monet” gave way to recording the events of each day; who I encountered and how I was feeling about it. That morphed into letters to God, notes to the angels, prayers, and lots of true diary entries that spoke of happiness and excitement but also of depression, confusion and pain. Today as I was leafing through that little journal with the pink writing, I was laughing hysterically, reading aloud to Charlie, some of the incredibly stupid entries. (Occasionally, he would belly-laugh too.) But then I’d come across an unexpected little post about being scared and sad because my parents were downstairs fighting and the memories flood right back. This is another reason I write. It helps me remember where I’ve come from. It reminds me of my strength when I’m not feeling particularly strong, and this is what I want to help others to feel as well.

I can’t remember the occasion for the actual FIRST blog I ever wrote or even what I wrote about, specifically. What I remember, instead, is the flood of thank you emails I received because of it. Somewhere along the line I started incorporating my true life experiences together with how I prayed and learned to cope and the response from total strangers is what compels me to write even to this day. I wasn’t doing anything special. I was just sharing the truth about how hard life sometimes is. What I learned is that there are a gazillion people out there scared to death about what other people might think, so they stay mired in unhappiness and this is why I write. I guess I talk about the things people are scared to talk about, even if it means baring my sometimes ugly past and soul.

I don’t even remember writing that little diary entry up there and that’s a good thing. Seeing it reminds me that all things pass and all things are possible.

And so I continue to write in the hopes my words might find themselves in the heart of the person or persons who most need them. That’s usually what ends up happening.

Life has a way of working out that way.

With love,

Bobbe

ARgh Rude People!

Try as I may, I will never understand people who are rude…

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Try as I may, I will never understand people who are rude. I am not talking about people who are accidentally rude or even those who occasionally tell rude jokes. No. I am referring to those humans (we all know one or two of them) who like to publicly correct grammar errors on social media posts; or those who never resist the urge to point out a flaw or a simple mistake. They will tell you when they don’t like your cooking. They will make rude comments about what you are wearing. They’ll interrupt your time with every inane detail of what’s going on in their lives, but will walk away the instant you begin to talk about yours. I’m talking about the people who seem to get some form of lift by saying things that most people might think, but wouldn’t dare to say.

I knew a lady who wanted to come and visit with me at work. She called to say she wanted to get to know me better and she would love to have a meeting with me. She wanted to bring me breakfast in exchange for my time. Fine. What she didn’t know is that I have gifts that allow me to see right to the core of a person. I knew before I hung up the phone what her motives were, but I wasn’t in a position to decline the meeting.

The day came and she arrived with breakfast in tow, but only for me. She said she’d all ready eaten, but insisted I sit and eat in front of her. Then she sat across from me feigning politeness and putting on extreme airs. I knew she was seeking gossip and I refused to play her game. I don’t like gossip. I don’t like wasting time. I especially do not like fake small talk. I sat across from her and listened courteously for over an hour. When she questioned me about things I did not want to answer, I politely redirected the conversation. When it became apparent that she wasn’t going to gain any gossip from me, she ended our meeting.

I will never forget the moment when she stood up to leave. I thanked her for the lovely breakfast and for allowing me to get to know her better.

She said to me, “I probably shouldn’t say this. But can I tell you something? Promise you won’t get mad?”

I knew she was about to say something rude and potentially demeaning, but I assured her she was welcome to say whatever she wanted to me.

“You need to stop misplacing your pronouns. You are too smart for that.”, she said.

I was dumbfounded. I am certain I just stood there with a blank look on my face. She responded by going into great detail about how I used the phrase, “Charlie and I” instead of “Charlie and me” and how it made me sound uneducated.

Uneducated? Really? Thirteen years of college, two degrees and three minors hardly spell, “uneducated” to me.

No. What she intended to do with that little piece of “advice” was to demean me because she had been unsuccessful in her attempt at gaining my confidence. She didn’t like that I maintained my grace and dignity during our conversation, so she took a jab at me. I smiled right through it, too.

What’s sad is that this meeting happened five years ago when I was new on the job. This lady is now deceased and even though I ended up really liking and respecting her, when her name comes up the first thing I think of is this story.

I wonder how she would feel about this now?

I guess I should have started out by saying that in actuality, I do understand rude people. I just do not like them. There is a saying, “hurting people hurt people” and it is so true. I believe chronically rude people have a huge issue with insecurity. Somehow rudeness elevates the offender’s ego. It’s sad really.

The moral of this story for me is to remain very aware of my own behavior. When I encounter rudeness, I put the shields up and refuse to be anything but kind. (Rude people become disarmed when no reaction is given.) I remember my encounter with this woman and remind myself that when I am gone from this world, I want to be remembered in a positive light. Shouldn’t we all?

From The Angels:

blessings Blessings: As you continue the journey of rediscovering your Divine nature, we surround you with our love and blessings.

Your success will come from facing your challenges when they arise and discovering new paradigm solutions. You will have opportunities to pinpoint and resolve many longstanding issues during this cycle. The key here is staying in the present and addressing what is there, when it is in front of you. This means avoiding the temptation to procrastinate. It means developing more self-trust and more in-the-moment connection with your inner wisdom.

listening Listening: It’s easy to get busy in life trying to do everything at once. You can listen and work at the same time but sometimes multi-tasking isn’t the best use of our time. Sometimes we have to stop, look people in the eyes, and give them the gift of listening.

We need to take time to deposit value in their hearts. We need to support one another, and listening is an amazing way of doing just that.

As you go about your day, the angels remind you to give people the gift of listening. It seems like such a little thing, but those little deposits will eventually make a big difference. When you make deposits in people, you are making deposits in eternity, and that is what pleases the heart of God.

power Power:   The power of your Creator is within you. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing a situation that seems larger than life or something that is a small hurdle the angels and God want to help you overcome it all!

The key to finding resolve in so many of life’s circumstances is to stay in the right frame of mind. You have the power of your Creator within you, all of the His greatness brings into focus who He is; faithful, righteous, good, honest and it diminishes the negative problems you are facing.

You have all the power of Divine love it is unlimited allow yourself shine. He is the one who with just his voice spoke the world and universe and cosmos into being, yet he is interested in the smallest and most intimate details of your life.


Blessed are they who give
without expecting even thanks in return,
for they shall be abundantly rewarded.

Blessed are they who translate
every good thing they know into action,
for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.

Blessed are they who do God’s will
without asking to see results,
for great shall be their recompense.

Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings,
for they shall reach the good in people and
receive a loving response.

Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know
that not the garment of clay but that which activates
the garment of clay is real and indestructible.

Blessed are they who see the change we call death
as a liberation from the limitation of this earth-life,
for they shall rejoice with their loved ones
who make the glorious transition.

Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives
and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith
to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead,
for they shall receive a second blessing.

Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path
without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace,
for they shall find it.

Blessed are they who instead of trying to
batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven
approach them humbly and lovingly and purified,
for they shall pass right through.

~Mildred Norman


Dear Lord:

Remind me of anyone I need to forgive today, and then please help me to obey you in this.

Amen

Musing From An Empath

Don’t worry it’s going to be OK. It’s all right little one, you’re safe and loved.
It’s OK to cry, it’s OK to be afraid, it’s OK to be weak,
it’s OK to be vulnerable, it’s OK to be human.

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I woke up feeling melancholy this morning and haven’t a clue why. Everything is going well in my life (if I don’t count my recent 2 week cleanse failure and I’m not counting it!). I had a glorious weekend. I have a job I love. I have a gaggle of really good friends. I have a handsome husband who loves me and treats me like a Queen. I have two dogs that are adorable who make me laugh every single day. I made a beautiful meal last night and I slept very well.

Still, I feel myself trying to slip into sadness. (Oh world, why must you be so much with me all of the time?) As an empath, I often pick up the shrapnel of other’s feelings and emotions. Sometimes I even feel what family members and close friends are feeling when there are miles between us. I don’t mind it really, but it sucks when it seems to descend from nowhere.

When it happens, it’s usually just a matter of stopping to ask God to send help by way of the angels to either cleanse my spirit or point me in the direction of healing. Having done that a little while ago, it’s no surprise to me that while digging through old papers, I found the following. It isn’t signed and there is no author credited, so I have no idea if I wrote it or it was something that spoke to me long ago. At any rate, it speaks to me right now and I’m sure if it’s meant to, it will speak to you as well.

“Don’t worry it’s going to be OK.

It’s all right little one, you’re safe and loved.

It’s OK to cry, it’s OK to be afraid, it’s OK to be weak,

it’s OK to be vulnerable, it’s OK to be human.

It’s from all these elements that we grow,

and it’s from all these elements that I am born out of you.

I Love You.

You’re not alone.

So long as you reach out to others you’re never alone.

Ask for my help in loaning you the courage you already have.

It’s not that I never give you more than you can handle,

I am not responsible for the consequences of your actions,

only you are.

Stay on the path if you’re suffering

by taking the steps you need to take.

Hang on and hang in there, because it’s now

that you’re growing at light speed,

You’re never going backward only forward.

Decay your loneliness, by making full use

of my greatest gift to mankind, which is mankind.

Feel my alleged absence, as proof,

for the paradox that I exist and have always existed.

Let me in by letting me out.

Love fear and all of the other feelings spored

are what create this reality.

These are the cause and effect of compassion and true forgiveness.

Ask for my help in walking through the anguish of forgiveness.

Do everything in your power to learn to forgive

and love those that hurt you,

Not for just them, but for others as well as yourself.

And never give up the hope that some day your ex-suffering

will be able to help the ones who were sick and hurt you,

As well as those who suffered like you.

Learn all this by practicing to love everyone.

Always look into yourself first;

you’re past, your present, your motives,

you’re feelings, and share the secrets

you find with myself as well as others.

Be gentle and kind to yourself

by being vulnerable, and sharing yourself

with others who are patient, kind and who can only

try to love and accept you as much as I do.

As you get better at this,

take the risks that will enable you to venture out

further and further, so that your true self

may finally be exposed to the real world

I created for you to live in.

Be honest with everyone by never

accepting the blame that is not yours.

Free yourself with the truth, by telling

those stepping on your toes how you feel,

no matter how difficult it may seem at first, or

what it’s consequences may be

you’ll only get better at it.

If you can learn to love/forgive,

fully listen, understand and accept those around you,

you will eventually begin to learn how to love/forgive,

fully listen, understand and accept yourself.”

 

From the Angels:

harmony Harmony:  Strife, confusion and conflict be gone. A difference of opinion has clouded your thoughts.

If you change your focus and look for the common ground of peace, you can bring harmony into your relationships again.

You know that one of the most powerful ways you can fight for your relationships is to be a peacemaker? Beloved child of God, you are a peace-lover at heart. You are bringing unity into your relationships.

Focus and look for the common ground of peace, you can bring harmony into your relationships again, you become an Earth angel. Remember, God and the angels tells us that blessed are the peacemakers. When we dwell together in unity, we honor God and open the door for His hand of blessing in every area of our lives!

balance Balance:  Restore me to balance in body, mind, and spirit. Remove everything from my consciousness and body that is not in perfect alignment with your loving plan for me.

I give my full permission and cooperation to all healing forces of Divine Love and ask God and the angels to lift all of my burden.

signs Signs: You have asked for a sign from your angels. Pay close attention to everything going on around you scents, color, objects. Be aware of the messages they are trying to alert you … notice sounds, objects.

You’ve asked for heaven to help you. This card signifies that your angels are trying to get your attention with signs.

They are trying to make contact with you.

Embracing the Light

“Don’t lose your light.”  “Don’t give up your light”.

I’m not quite sure what the exact words were but I definitely dreamed of my Grandmother last night.  She was lying in a hospital bed and I was curled up next to her looking into her eyes.  She kept talking to me about “the light” and having me promise her that I would carry mine.  I felt giggly and happy even though I knew she was on her death bed.  I promised her I would abide by her wishes.

In life she’s been gone now for thirty six years.  It’s always struck me as odd that she is the one and only close relative of mine (in spirit) who has not visited me.  I think in light of all that has been happening in my life, last night may have been a real visit.  It doesn’t really matter because the message has stuck with me and that was the point.

After I had that dream, Charlie got up as he usually does, around two in the morning, and I laid there thinking.  I pulled one of the dogs close to me and as we curled up together I started to pray right out loud  -something I used to do long ago and just loved.  I prayed for every person I could think of by name, including many of you here and including those I usually forget.  Before I knew it,  I’d been lying there for two solid hours just chattering away, thanking God for my many Blessings, asking Him to take care of my family, to bring happiness and light and above all, healing to everyone.

Like clockwork, the birds began to chirp and I knew it was four am.  I remember saying, “Who tells the birds to wake up?” just as I was drifting back off to sleep.

I had another dream.  I was in a forest cloaked in darkness waiting for the “miracle” to happen.  In my heart, I knew it was coming and I was eager to get to it, but as is always the case in dreamland, I had to go through a lot of nonsensical tasks prior.  And so I did.  (Too many details for this small space.)  Suffice it to say that at the very end, I arrived back in the middle of the rainy, dark forest, tired, but still knowing it was coming.  Charlie kept asking me about “the key” and I kept telling him we didn’t need a real key, we just needed to be still and watch.  Finally, in a scene straight out of a Disney movie, a lady arrived, raised her hands, turned in a circle and the forest transformed into the most beautiful, twinkly, magical place I’d ever seen.  I started dancing and skipping and laughing completely filled with unimaginable joy.

Of course the dream is a metaphor for life.  It reminds me that there isn’t a special key that unlocks the magic….the key is perseverance, the key is a constant connection with God and of course, knowing without seeing (faith), that soon enough, everything transforms from darkness to light.

From The Angels:

spiritual-growth Spiritual Growth:  Integrate spirituality to a higher degree in your daily life! Enjoy the process!

You are seeking a higher connection a renewed connection with the Divine and you wish you could immerse yourself read, study, learn, or meditate take it all in at once. The exhilaration of moving up to a higher level of consciousness is challenging slow down and enjoy the process.

Trust that the same Power that brought you to your spiritual path will also take care of everything for you.

new-love New Love: You have new love in your life whether it is with a new partner or rekindled love.

Let the light in open your heart to a new infusion of Divine love.

Trust in God and your guardian angels this will be an exciting time in your life. Embrace the changes flow with the current of love everything will work out.

trust Trust: You have to be willing to pour in everything you have before you can see Gods increase flowing in your life. Believe in yourself, the angels emphasize the value of self-trust.

The angels encourage you to give God what you have in your hands today, and as you stay faithful to do your part, God will do His part.

When you put action behind your faith and trust God, He will pour wisdom, strength, and creativity into you and help you accomplish the dreams and desires He has placed in your heart. The angels ask you to trust in God and to trust in them, they will help you trust yourself.

Today’s Prayer:

You are the peace of all things calm

You are the place to hide from harm

You are the light that shines in dark

You are the heart’s eternal spark

You are the door that’s open wide

You are the guest who waits inside

You are the stranger at the door

You are the calling of the poor

You are my Lord and with me still

You are my love, keep me from ill

You are the light, the truth, the way

You are my Saviour this very day.

~you are god – celtic oral tradition – 1st millennium

 

In humility is the greatest freedom.

As long as you have to defend the imaginary self

that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart.

As soon as you compare that shadow

with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy,

because you have begun to trade in unrealities

and there is no joy in things that do not exist.

~thomas merton

 

Mistaken Identity

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Growing up I was one of the kids always picked last in gym class. Although I remember cringing sometimes, most of the time I just did not care. I wasn’t a particularly uncoordinated kid or overweight or weak. My issue was being afraid to really try for fear of making a fool out of myself, which in itself was kind of funny, since I spent most of my time purposefully making people laugh. No one tortured me or made huge fun of me either. They just didn’t want me on their team. Fine.

I was not put in honor’s classes or even among the smartest of my class all the way through high school and into my first year of college. I can’t remember ever feeling hugely inferior, but I do remember being irritated always being in the mid level groups, but not irritated enough to do anything about it. I’m not even sure I realized there was something I could do about it.

Long about sophomore year in college, I took a sociology class, taught by a highly unconventional professor. Although I cannot remember the details, I remember how infuriated my classmates used to be in this class. They couldn’t understand his methods. He didn’t follow a lesson-plan. He didn’t test us. He required us to write papers about odd topics. What amused me most was that I understood exactly what he was trying to do, from the very beginning. I sat there, day in and day out listening to him speak, wishing I could stand up to say to my classmates, “Just hold on…eventually what he’s doing will make sense to you.”. The first time I wrote a paper for him, I received an A+. The second time I wrote a paper for him, I received an A+ and so on. I couldn’t believe it. One of the by-products of taking his class was the realization that if I knew who my audience was, I could really write. I started applying this to my other classes. It worked every time. Before I turned around twice, I was a straight “A” student.

Who? ME?

The key, I believe, was in my applying myself. How many of us used to get the report from parent-teacher conferences: “Does not work to full potential”, “failure to apply oneself”. I never knew what that even meant until college.

Junior year in college, I was looking for an easy credit to take for my P.E. requirement so I took, “Walking”. (I fig ured I already had a jump on this one since I’d learned to walk early in life.) Imagine my chagrin when it turned out that this was one of the tougher classes I’d ever taken. Ha, the joke was on all of us looking for an easy “A”. We were tested every week on anatomy, physiology, health, fitness, nutrition etc. In addition to this we were required to do “timed” walks several miles a day, right from the very first day. Again, I made a shocking discovery: I liked to finish first. By then end of this class, I was actually running five miles each period and because I enjoyed “winning”, I was pushing myself harder and harder. No one scored higher than I did. No one went faster than I did.

What’s the point? I grew up thinking I wasn’t athletic. I always knew I had a quick wit, but I don’t think I ever realized just how capable and smart I could be until later in life. I don’t think anyone ever really put a label on me or threatened me in any way, but I definitely lived under a mistaken impression for a while.

I wonder how many of us are still living under a mistaken identity?

Today is a perfect day to reflect on the fact that we are all part of a consistent evolution.

What can you do today that you thought you’d never be doing in your life? What do you still want to do?

We’re not wearing concrete shoes, ya know. What are you waiting for?

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NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on discontent, because the Word says: “I have learned in whatever state (circumstances) I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on unworthiness, because the Word says: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on confusion, because the Word says: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14)

Prayer for Today:
Each day is a blessing
of epic proportions.
I give thanks for
what might seem meager comforts:
real cream in my coffee,
a day without a bill in the mail,
the Paso Doble.
Sometimes life is a dance
a woman has to do backwards
pushing against the wind
and obstacles in the way.
Thank You for being the partner
who always leads.
-Ruth Williams